MIT’s Technology Review has published its annual Top 10 Emerging Technologies. As always, at least half are of interest to IT folks.
There’s an intelligent software agent that aims to turn web search from finding content to undertaking actions: a new take on the quest for an intelligent personal assistant, based on military technology research. There’s a new type of power storage cell, claimed to be capable of exceptionally heavy lifting without the usual penalties: not a silver bullet, but a magnesium and antimony one. There’s new ultra-dense memory technology, from Stuart Parkin who led IBM’s memory technology research until the division was sold in 2002.
For the Web, there’s a new caching algorithm which computes directly to a disk location and aims thereby to streamline access to relatively static web content. And there’s an add-on approach to networking: the OpenFlow standard which allows policy to be overlaid on normal routing algorithms so that, for example, video could be given priority (or not!) over email. I’m not sure about Tech Review’s definition that this one “can change the way we live”, but I can see a host of commercial applications for it!
Top Ten is always a stimulating read. Take a look.